TRIPOLI – The Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya, sitting in Tripoli, headed by Prime Minister Faiz Saraj, announced a ceasefire as part of an initiative proposed by the Russian Federation and Turkey. This was reported by the information portal Al Wasat in Libya.
“In response to the call of the presidents of Turkey and Russia, Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, the head of the presidential council and the supreme commander in chief of the Libyan army announces a ceasefire from midnight on January 12,” the GNA quoted the media as saying.
According to TASS, previously the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar also announced his agreement to stop the fighting. As its official spokesman, General Ahmed al-Mismari , indicated the LNA announces a ceasefire from 00:01 on January 12th. Meanwhile, he demanded that the other side also adhere to a truce, promising otherwise a “tough answer.”
Following the entry into force of the ceasefire, the parties have already begun to accuse each other of violating it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron . According to the Kremlin’s website , the heads of state discussed in detail the situation in Libya and stressed the importance of observing a ceasefire by both parties to the conflict.
The LNA has been able to garner degrees of support from France, Russia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, states like Italy and Turkey have backed the EU and UN recognized government of the GNA under Saraj.
Analysts have long suspected that given the strong information war support that Russia gave to the Yellow Vest movement in France, this was used as leverage to help push France into supporting the Russian position on Libya. Russia’s soft-power approach to the situation of the stability of France’s government is one of several factors that pushed Macron to take a position contrary to that nominally recognized by the EU.
Consequently, presidents of Russia and France expressed their willingness to help resolve the crisis. In addition to Libya, Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron discussed the tense situation around Iran and spoke in favor of maintaining the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA). They also discussed the situation in Ukraine and Syria.
Italy’s position in tangent with Turkey helps to give Turkey further leverage on the EU in terms of regulating the in-flow of migrants from mid-east and now Maghreb countries into the EU, insofar as Turkey is able to control events in Libya.
Macron has been under pressure from EU states to support the official line, supporting Saraj and the GNA. However, the Russian pressure combined with the success of Haftar’s LNA has placed France on the side both politically prudent and likely to emerge victorious.